Thursday, 31 March 2016

My Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga Yoga Book is based on the tamil edition translation Yoga Makaranda by Sri T. Krishnamacharya (Written in Kannada)

My Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga Yoga Book is based on the tamil edition translation Yoga Makaranda by Sri T. Krishnamacharya (Written in Kannada)

My acknowledgement page



Tamil Translation by Sri C.M.V. Krishnamacharya (with the assistance of Sri S. Ranganathadesikacharya)
Kannada Edition 1934 Madurai C.M.V. Press Tamil Edition

Given the gratitude i feel and respect i havr for thevintegrity of the original translators of Yoga Makaranda, should they make the request, I would be more than happy to remove the print edition if they were to feel it is not beneficial, as well as discuss removing the free pdf edition.

It is not related to the more recent publication See Letter.



The book is an attempt to make Krishnamacharya's approach to asana presented in the book more accessible (especially to the Jois Ashtanga Vinyasa community) but NEVER  intended as a substitute for the original.

The book came about in response to the need to bring my notes together for a short series of workshops on Krishnamacharya where I stripped Krishnamacharya's asana instruction down to the bear minimum for pedagogic purposes. I was asked to make the notes available as well as a later print edition with clear pictorial representation of the vinyasas in the manner in which we are familiar in Ashtanga vinyasa circles.

My book continues to be available, free (always) to download, at my Free Downloads page (link below). As is the original along with Yoga Makaranda part II, our translation of Krishnamacharya's yogasanagalu, my earlier Vinyasa krama book and other resources.

Free Downloads
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/free-downloads.html

From first publishing the print edition I have included a 50% price reduction to bring the book virtually down to cost price, it's made available for those who still prefer books in Print.

Amazon do not allow me to discount the book and some buy the text from Lulu at the reduced price and sell it at the list price or higher via ebay. When kindly sharing links to the book may i request that you remind readers that it is half the price from  LuLu and always free to download from my blog.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Pushpam Yoga Magazine published by Certified Ashtanga teacher Hamish Hendry of Astanga Yoga London. (also My first visit to a Mysore room).

I was sent a few pages from Pushpam Yoga Magazine recently, a smart, nicely written, chewy - in a thought provoking sense, quarterly from a team with strong connections to Certified Ashtanga teacher Hamish Hendry and Ashtanga Yoga London. Their website mentions that they now ship globally and with issue two coming out next month it's worth checking out the site and perhaps grabbing one of the last copies of issue one.

Nice photographs, an interview with Tim Miller that I particularly enjoyed conducted by Hamish himself, an eclectic, curious and at time welcomingly unexpected collection articles/contributions ranging from philosophy, asana, meditation, an interview and book review even a recipe.


from the website

"Pushpam is a quarterly (or so) yoga magazine. It is published by Hamish Hendry of Astanga Yoga London. Focusing on yoga beyond asana, regular contributors include Sharath Jois, Hamish Hendry and Genny Wilkinson Priest. Interviews with some of the most experienced senior certified Astanga teachers feature in every issue".




Letter from the publisher
Pushpam means flower in Sanskrit. For those who like to be pernickety the “sh” is in retroflex with the tongue curled back.

In India, a flower is used in ceremonies as an offering to God, marking special occasions or even to mourn the dead. A flower, in the full of its life, yields nectar and often turns into fruit and seed. Yet its existence is temporary for at some point it perishes and returns to the ground from whence it came.

It is both the beginning and the end.

In our urban lives a flower popping through a concrete pavement’s crack reminds us that beauty and life are not far away. I hope this magazine will be an offering and sow many seeds".

Hamish Hendry – November 2015


Hamish Hendry, John Scott The Yoga Place, 1980s? Crete
Photo curtesy of Kristina Karitinou-Ireland




Difficult to read the table of contents on the website, here it is for Issue one.



Table of Contents
(note: there tends to be full page photos between  many of the articles)

Letter from the publisher p 7

A more Spiritual Life - by Sharath jois - p 9

How to lose an Argument - Hamish Hendry - p 10

In conversation: Two Certified teachers - p 11
Tim miller and Hamish Hendry

Some things I have learned living with a 
degenerative spine condition - Dimitris Thomopoulos p-  15

What is the purpose of studying Yoga Philosophy - Luke Jordan - p 16

What is the purpose of asana - Daniel Simpson - p18

Yoga and Ramadam: Are the compatible - Rousol Altimimi - p 22

Gos in Patanjali's yoga Sutras - Ruth Westoby - p 24

Unravelling the yoga and eating disorder tangle - Genny Willkinson-Priest  - p 27

Meditation;: How to slow Thinking 
Stop Worrying and Stay Awake - SuYen Tan (London Buddhist Center) - p 32

Western Meditation and Astanga Yoga practice
- A personal Experience - Doug Taukobong-Olsen - p 34

Lost and Found:
Reclaiming the magical World of Astanga - Esther Geis - p 38

Gentling the Bull by Myohyo-Ni:
A book review - Inna Constantini - p 40

The simplicity of Socca - Tom Norrington-Davis (chef) - p 42




Link to website

http://www.pushpam.co.uk/

and on facebook

Link to facebook



See also this review by Genny Wilkinson- Priest's of Hamish Hendry's delightful book Yoga Dharama


Reading Yoga Dharama outside the farmhouse on my 2014 five-day retreat in Spain 


I visited Ashtanga Yoga London back in 2008, it was my first visit to a Mysore room. I've just spent ages looking for the original post, turns out there were three and so decided to bring them together here, was interesting reading these back over eight years later.



My First (and second )Mysore class
Visiting Ashtanga yoga London


Thinking about going to your first Mysore class? 

This morning I went to my first Mysore class. I've been practicing Ashtanga from books DVDs etc, 6 days a week, for a year and a half but never had a lesson class or workshop. I often thought about it but the longer I didn't go the more apprehensive/uncomfortable I was about going. I settled for the excuse that there wasn't anywhere nearby. I figure I'm not alone in this so for anyone else shala shy, here's how it went.

I took the train into London and went to Ashtanga Yoga London for Sunday Mysore. Make sure you write down the door number if you go as it's most inconspicuous. I eventually found the place after walking up and down Drumond Street a couple of times. Buzzed in I was met at the door. Louise, friendly, asked if I knew the series and if I had any injuries and told me to be sure to say if I found an adjustment too much. I guess it's a small Shala, maybe room for 15 to 20 mats. Not much room to change but I'd come with my yoga shorts under my trousers so no problem. I had been concerned about the etiquette for placing my mat but they very cleverly have these little Logos all over the floor that you centre your mat on. And there was a wall! Each mat is next to a wall, something I'm used to having at home, that made me more comfortable although I didn't need it.

Felt so strange striped down to my shorts walking through the room to put down my mat, but then you start on the oh so familiar Surys and you're in your own world again. Occasionally I would notice that someone would quietly chant before they started their practice, liked that, nice way to get yourself in the right frame of mind, I might learn it this week. I'd thought I would get to see a bit of other peoples practice but I was facing the wall and it didn't feel appropriate to be looking around. Felt like such a lack of pretension, everyone just getting on with their practice. Loved the sound of the breath in the room but it was so hot that I found it hard to breathe and my breath was all over the place for most of the session. I'd expected it to be hot but not this hot, I've never sweat so much in my life. There were pools of sweat on my mat, half way through I moved back up into downward dog and a stream of sweat would start coming out of my Nike's. I weighed myself later and worked out I'd sweat 3-4 kilo's. Foolishly I'd just taken my sticky mat, next week I'll take the rug or maybe buy a Yoga towel (any advice?).

Adjustments were excellent and if you've only ever practiced at home then this is really why you should go to a Shala. L and R would come around the room and give me a little bit more of a twist here a press on the small of my back there, it made such a difference. The occasional lift and support giving focus and finally a lift in my backbend that was just fantastic. All done calmly, professionally and effectively. Did wonder about the etiquette though. Wanted to say thank you as they adjusted me but felt I should be focusing on my breath and then they had moved on before I could say anything, though I managed to thank them before I left.

Got through my practice, Jump backs and through went well on the whole but then my mat was so sweaty I was just sailing though....no literally "life on the ocean waves" sailing through. After backbends you go into the other room which is cooler and a relief, Savasana was glorious. 

And that was that, changed quickly and rushed out into the fresh air thinking about how good a bottle of cold water was going to taste.


follow up post


Monday, 29 September 2008




Had my second Mysore class Sunday.This is by way of an update to that post 

Was still really hot and I was sweating like crazy again but better prepared so less embarrassed about it. The microfiber towel worked pretty well, though if I hadn't ordered a Yogitoes I would have bought another it along for finishing. Took along a nice clean fluffy towel for adjustments too which again made me feel a lot better. Could jump back on the Microfiber but gave up on jumping though cleanly and just settled for jumping to sit. Have you noticed on my video's how it takes me a while to get myself set to lift off? That's OK at home but I don't feel comfortable doing that in the Shala so just went straight into it. Probably a good habit to get into. Talking of habits.....

Made a bit of a hash of my practice, was much more focused last week. All my bad habits came out, forgetting which leg I had started with or starting with the wrong leg, creative breathing, missing out a vinyassa or two. Upavishta konasana to Setu bandhasana was a mess. I think in my home practice I tend to rush through that section, especially on a work day. But it's kind of like fast forwarding through a movie. You get to the next good bit (backbends) but lose the whole pace of the movie. And while that section might not seem as challenging as the Mari's or as dramatic as the Kurama's there's a lot of hip opening and prep necessary for 2nd.

Followed Sharath's DVD this morning and going to do that all week to add a little discipline.

Amazing adjustments again, Mari D in particular was an eye opener. Been able to just manage it for a little while now but Sunday L. just kept turning me further and further into it until I could grasp my wrist rather than just my fingertips. Felt like if she let go my legs would be spinning round and round cartoon fashion.

Kind of blown away by the whole adjustment thing. Seems so generous. It's one thing to stand at the frount of a room and say do this, do that but to get down on a sweaty mat and help our sweaty bodies into these asanas just seems such a generous selfless act. A big THANK-YOU to all the ashtanga teachers and assistants who do that every morning, you're wonderful.


2nd follow up post

Owning my practice


I went to a Shala for the first time three weeks ago after a year and a half of self-practice (see posts below) and it was great, very beneficial and no doubt just what I needed. I was made aware of some of the physical possibilities of my body through adjustments. Pulled up gently on a couple of asanas I'd missed out and came away with a mental list of things to work on; getting the sequence of the last third of primary right, focusing on the correct sequence of breath, chakrosana etc. I've been working on all these elements for the last couple of weeks.........thing is, my practice doesn't feel mine anymore. Or less mine.

I started practicing Ashtanga alone at home with a book from the library, and then a DVD, more books more DVDs, youtube and the Internet. Asana that I thought were impossible for me, for my, mid 40s body have become possible. All the time it's just been me on my mat, alone in a room early each morning, my practice. It's followed my mood and inclination, will, desire, frustration, stubborn determination, whatever.

Somehow now, after visiting the Shala, it feels a little like I'm practicing for someone else, my teacher? I need to work on this or that, improve this or that (not because I've been asked to but these are areas that have been pointed out and I feel obliged to work on them). Those elements to work on didn't come from me, didn't arise in me. Perhaps they should have done and done so a long time ago perhaps some things I might never have noticed on my own. Don't get me wrong, I'm so very grateful for the attention, the adjustments, advice, suggestions it's just that each morning this last week it's felt a bit of a chore, my hearts not been in it. I feel more distant from my practice, less involved.

No doubt it will pass and it's just an adjustment but it's strange no? Wondered if anyone else had felt the same. And then I began to wonder if there's something similar when someone changes teachers and if so what that says about the teacher / student relationship ( I used to be a teacher ). And when you go to India, to Mysore, does it feel more or less your practice, more Guruji's perhaps, more the traditions practice. Or does it always feel your practice.

Perhaps if you began learning Ashtanga in a Shala it's different. If you give yourself over to a teacher to the tradition it's still your practice but in a different context. For me there was just this style of yoga that appealed to me, that appeared graceful and yet powerful, beautiful, perfect. I looked at it as practiced by John Scott, David Swenson, Richard Freeman, Sharath, Lino, Kino. And it's the same practice but each time subtly different and sometimes not so subtle. A personal expression...... there you go, a personal practice. As far as I know they all learnt from teachers and studied in Mysore and yet all have their OWN practice. So perhaps I'm just over reacting and it will pass, I hope so because I know I can gain so much from visiting the Shala and perhaps one day, a trip to mysore. And yet...........?

Just read over this and I'm not sure this is what I'm trying to get at, but it's a start.......

Asymmetric asana approached as mudra. #proficientprimaryproject

5. Asymmetric asana approached as mudra



The Vinyasa serves the asana, it should surely lead us towards the asana rather than away. Too often we focus on getting into the posture rather than inhabiting the asana, why seek steadiness and comfort if in five rushed breaths we hurry back to our beloved Vinyasa. Surely this wasn't Krishnamacharya's intention when he presented the Vinyasa approach nor any of his students either. Krishnamacharya wrote of longer stays, he indicated long slow breathing (as did his student Pattabhi Jois in interviews), kumbhaka in most asana he presented, more often than not he appeared to approach asana not unlike mudra.

Mudra unites the mind and the body, in the previous post I presented Maha Mudra that we might inhabit before folding forward into the familiar Janu Sirsasana, where we also might remain longer; forward folding postures welcome the longer exhalation that characterises mudra.

Maha Mudra before folding into Janu Sirsasana

Just as with Janu Sirsasana we might pause before folding forward in other asymmetric asana and approach them as mudra, Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana and Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana for instance, maichiyasana also (see tomorrow).

Mudra approach to Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana 
Mudra approach to Tirieng Mukha Eka Pada Paschimattanasana





Above, mudra approach to Janu Sirsasana A, B and C


Pause the Vinyasa count before folding, slow the exhalation for the mudra to twice the length of the inhalation 8 -10 seconds for the former, 4 - 5 for the later, tuck in the chin for jalandara bandha, engage uddiyana bandha at the end of the exhalation which in turn activates mula bandha.

Alternatively take your kumbhaka after the inhalation, 5, 10, 20 seconds perhaps with mantra (pranayama mantra) stay for five minutes or 6, 12 even 24 breaths then fold forward into the more familiar asana and take the shorter kumbhaka after the exhalation. Repeat directly on the other side or take your Vinyasa and enter the second side following a welcome Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.
We might choose approximately 10 asana to practice this way or in our regular practice we might choose one asana only to inhabit longer, a different posture explored each day or perhaps each week.

see the permenant #proficientprimary project page at the top of the blog
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/p/proficient-primary-project.html

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

4. Maha Mudra (great seal) ‪#‎proficientprimaryproject‬

Maha Mudra (great seal) ‪#‎proficientprimaryproject‬ 


Essentially the point of the Proficient Primary Project is to approach asana as mudra.
Traditionally hand gestures accompanying Mantras, Krishnamacharya's third son T.K. Sribhashyam informs us that mudras later entered yoga as full body postures, the intention was always the same however, to unite the body and mind.

Mudra have always been executed with Ujjayi breathing, the exhalation tends to be longer than the inhalation, the breathing is slower than in regular asana practice, a point of focus is maintained, kumbhaka is employed, traditionally after exhalation and bandha are employed. Maha mudra is called the great seal because mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandara bandha are all employed effectively.

Ramaswami, following Krishnamacharya, encouraged us to practice maha mudra for five minutes each side every day, it was to be considered a key element in our daily practice. However mudra can be practiced at any time, I will often practice it in the evening followed by baddha konasana then settle into padmasana for pranayama and a Sit.

Maha mudra may also be practiced in regular Ashtanga practice, pausing the count for six, twelve perhaps twenty-four breaths before folding into Janu Sirsasana.


In the next ‪#‎proficientprimarypost‬ I'll present other asymmetric Primary postures that might be practiced/explored as mudra.


see perhaps my earlier full body mudra post.
http://grimmly2007.blogspot.jp/2010/04/full-body-mudra.html


Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project




Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

If advanced asana can be endlessly promoted through Instagram then perhaps we can also promote Primary asana and the proficiency we can explore there, in postures that most can approach. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.


Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier post on 9 years of home practice  my last (not for the first time) but perhaps this might make a nice direction for the blog, exploring Primary asana and perhaps some more basic Intermediate series/group asana with more proficiency. Not so much getting lost in technique and alignment, which can be yet more distraction but exploring the possibilities of the breath ( it may well be that the breath improves the alignment which in improves the breath).

And perhaps to look again at the so called Ashtanga Rishi approach project, less asana with longer stays but this time with longer, slower breathing and Kumbhaka just as Krishnamacharya presented in Mysore in the1930s when Pattabhi Jois was his student.

Advanced asana aren't intrinsically bad, it depends on our motives and intentions in practicing them, I had as much Asana madness as anyone.

from my previous post....

These (advanced ) asana were fun to explore over a period of three to four year but at some point it may feel time to put the toys away and look for something more. Some manage to do both of course, play/explore/research the more intricate and physically demanding asana ( and Krishnamacharya hoped a few would) and still go deeper into the practice. Personally I just wanted to breathe more slowly, which meant less asana and less asana and at my age meant less of the intermediate and advanced asana.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

Monday, 28 March 2016

3. Tatakamudra #proficientprimaryproject

3. Tatakamudra (pond gesture)


Tatakamudra #proficientprimaryproject

Tatakamudra (pond gesture)

I tend to include Tatakamudra in any practice, usually before sarvangasana (shoulderstand). It can be practiced with the arms above the head, fingers entwined and turned palms outward or with the arms by the side palms downward.

As a mudra Tatakamudra can be practiced at any point in our practice or indeed, outside our regular practice.

Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

Drishti/concentration: Inhalation - from big toe to the top of the head. Exhalation - tip of the nose.

Uddiyana bandha doesn't need to be this fully engaged it can be a much more subtle engagement such that it becomes possible on the retention after inhalation, indeed subtle uddiyana banddha might be maintained throughout the practice as in Ashtanga Vinyasa, engaged more fully at times depending on the asana.

Tatakamudra mudra along with Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog) are considered ideal postures for focussing on developing and exploring uddiyana bandha.




Bit embarressed to include this but here's a video of my trying to explain how I approach and experience tatakamudra in my own practice from the Yoga-Rainbow Festival here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1BtOp67FKg my much loved Maria Vorobyeva (Moscow) translating


Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project






Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

If advanced asana can be endlessly promoted through Instagram then perhaps we can also promote Primary asana and the proficiency we can explore there, in postures that most can approach. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.



Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier post on 9 years of home practice  my last (not for the first time) but perhaps this might make a nice direction for the blog, exploring Primary asana and perhaps some more basic Intermediate series/group asana with more proficiency. Not so much getting lost in technique and alignment, which can be yet more distraction but exploring the possibilities of the breath ( it may well be that the breath improves the alignment which in improves the breath).

And perhaps to look again at the so called Ashtanga Rishi approach project, less asana with longer stays but this time with longer, slower breathing and Kumbhaka just as Krishnamacharya presented in Mysore in the1930s when Pattabhi Jois was his student.

Advanced asana aren't intrinsically bad, it depends on our motives and intentions in practicing them, I had as much Asana madness as anyone.

from my previous post....

These (advanced ) asana were fun to explore over a period of three to four year but at some point it may feel time to put the toys away and look for something more. Some manage to do both of course, play/explore/research the more intricate and physically demanding asana ( and Krishnamacharya hoped a few would) and still go deeper into the practice. Personally I just wanted to breathe more slowly, which meant less asana and less asana and at my age meant less of the intermediate and advanced asana.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

2. Sirsasnana #proficientprimaryproject

2. Sirsasana


Sirsasana #proficientprimaryproject 

Sirsasana, no variations.

twenty five breaths, 
two breaths a minute. 
10 sec. Inhalation
5 sec. kumbhaka 
10 sec. Exhalation
5 sec. Kumbhaka 

1. Start with slowing the breath down to 8-10 seconds for inhalation and the same for exhalation.

2. Add 2 second kumbhaka (breath retention) after inhalation (can't employ full jalandhara bandha here with the chin lock so instead, swallow at the end of inhalation to close throat.

3. Once 5 second kumbhaka is comfortable introduce 2 sec kumbhaka after exhalation with Mula and Uddiyana bandha- build up to five second.

Followed by ten minutes of variations in Sirsasana with appropriate breathing.




Appendix



About the Proficient Primary Project




Proficient Primary Project. #proficientprimaryproject

If advanced asana can be endlessly promoted through Instagram then perhaps we can also promote Primary asana and the proficiency we can explore there, in postures that most can approach. 




In Krishnamacharya table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941) he included three groups of asana, Primary, Middle and Proficient. Primary and Middle were turned into the Primary and Intermediate (2nd) series by Krishnamacharya's student Pattabhi Jois mostly following the order of the table. The proficient group with other asana Krishnamacharya was teaching at the time came to be taught by Pattabhi Jois as Advanced series A and B (later 3rd,4th, 5th and 6th series). I'm choosing in this project to think of proficiency as an approach to asana rather than a category of asana. Few will manage to practice all the asana Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya presented, Krishnamacharya never thought it necessary that we should ( although perhaps a few of us). Krishnamacharya never it seems intended asana to be fixed in a series, most of us will never complete 2nd series, many will not complete Primary. However if we maintain our practice for a number of years, even if we practice only half the primary group or series of asana along with our pranayama we can still develop proficiency in our asana practice, explore the asana we have in ever more subtlety of breath and bandha and focus. Advanced practice can look like this.



It is not necessary to switch ones whole practice overnight ( if at all) to longer, slower breathing with longer stays and perhaps kumbhaka, resulting in less asana practiced. We might begin with just one asana, a different asana each practice. Regular Ashtanga of course already includes longer stays in finishing.


Sharath - Baddha Konasana

I had thought about making my earlier post on 9 years of home practice  my last (not for the first time) but perhaps this might make a nice direction for the blog, exploring Primary asana and perhaps some more basic Intermediate series/group asana with more proficiency. Not so much getting lost in technique and alignment, which can be yet more distraction but exploring the possibilities of the breath ( it may well be that the breath improves the alignment which in improves the breath).

And perhaps to look again at the so called Ashtanga Rishi approach project, less asana with longer stays but this time with longer, slower breathing and Kumbhaka just as Krishnamacharya presented in Mysore in the1930s when Pattabhi Jois was his student.

Advanced asana aren't intrinsically bad, it depends on our motives and intentions in practicing them, I had as much Asana madness as anyone.

from my previous post....

These (advanced ) asana were fun to explore over a period of three to four year but at some point it may feel time to put the toys away and look for something more. Some manage to do both of course, play/explore/research the more intricate and physically demanding asana ( and Krishnamacharya hoped a few would) and still go deeper into the practice. Personally I just wanted to breathe more slowly, which meant less asana and less asana and at my age meant less of the intermediate and advanced asana.

A hashtag?

#proficientprimaryproject

Update: In response to a question: Can I join the 'project' and use the hashtag? Yes of course , please do, add the hashtag to your own proficient primary photos/videos 


Uddiyana bandha
Most of the pictures I'll be posting in the Proficient Primary Project will show a deep uddiyana bandha, this is to draw attention to the focus on the breath (long and slow) and in particular the kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or out). Such a dramatic Uddiyana bandha as in the photos tends to be practiced on the hold at the end of the exhalation. 
Exhale fully and before inhaling draw the belly, below and above the navel, in and up. Mula bandha will follow. Hold for 2-5 seconds.

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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